Juan Pierre called it a career last Friday.
Monday, he was back at work — sort of.
The 37-year-old, 2003 World Series hero visited Marlins camp and was dishing out hugs. Soon, if manager Mike Redmond and president of baseball operations Michael Hill can convince him, Pierre could be doling out advice.
“I’d been calling him for two years, and it’s just great to have him around,” Hill said. “He’s not ready to take on any role with the organization, but just in this game and in my capacity you want good people around you and you want quality people, hard workers and that’s what JP embodies.
“Whenever he is ready I’m hopeful that’ll translate into some capacity in the front office — in our front office, the Marlins front office.”
Although it won’t be in any official coaching capacity, Redmond and the Marlins are pushing for Pierre to spend some time around the team this spring, hoping his trademark work ethic will rub off on some of the young pups like Dee Gordon. So will Pierre be sporting a Marlins advisors’ uniform soon like Andre Dawson and Jeff Conine have in the past?
“I don’t know if they want me in uniform,” Pierre said. “I’m not necessarily itching to get back in uniform. But just to hang out with the guys, come here and help out there individually.
“I don’t like this attention right here. I like to slide in the cracks, be on the backfields. Field 6 is where I was made. That’s what I look to do back there with the kids, work out individually if need be. Right now I’m just out here, hanging, supporting.”
Pierre said his “ideal job is to come to spring training between 7 and 9:30 a.m., do early work and then go home.”
Redmond laughed when Pierre said that Monday.
“It’s funny for me to hear him say he only wants to show up from 8 to 10 or whatever,” Redmond said. “I remember walking in here and hearing that [pitching] machine going at 5 a.m. and JP is in there bunting, doing his work. I think that rubs off on players. You realize what it takes to be great, and a guy like him is a role model and a leader, no doubt. Younger players especially gravitate towards guys like that, that know how to work, how to act and are very successful.”
Pierre, who sat out the 2014 season while looking for work, said he waited about a week into spring training before deciding it was time to retire. He was still hoping to get a phone call for a camp invite but wasn’t going to wait forever.
In the meantime, Pierre said, he has been enjoying his time at home with his family in Parkland. He and his wife have two boys: Joshua, 3, and Jonathan, a five-month-old.
“I’m Mr. Mom right now,” Pierre said. “I enjoy it. I have to put my little one to sleep every night. He won’t let my wife do it. I have to do it. So I enjoy little things like that. Maybe down the road I’ll get back into it [coaching] in some capacity. I don’t know yet. But definitely the love for the game is still there.”
▪ Redmond said the Marlins will give their regulars one at-bat each in Tuesday’s exhibition game against the University of Miami. The Marlins open up Grapefruit League play on Thursday against the Cardinals.